The real steal: Two fragrances that belie their price tags!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 22 - 2014

If you always struggle to buy the man who has everything, something… then I might be able to help you out.

Whether it’s a partner, a brother, a son, or a father… there’s always one fella in the family who leaves you scratching your head when it comes to accommodating him in your annual Christmas shop.  You may not think that fragrance is the most original gift choice in the world but if you get it right… you’re on to a bonafide winner.

Over the years, I’ve managed to grind down Mr. L’s resolve to the point where he is finally, a fully-fledged fragrance fiend.  His tastes vary but he’s not too particular… if it smells great, offers long-lasting wear and isn’t too extreme, he appreciates a well-crafted scent whatever the notes.

I’ve picked out two from his collection that I think would appeal to most men on your gift lists… and perhaps even more excitingly, you can pick them up for less than £16 each!  Yes, I’m talking about some of my favourite kind of fragrances, those mainstream buys that slip under the radar, punching well above their weight!

budget men's fragrances christmas 2014

The Dad/Husband Choice: Pour Homme – Van Cleef & Arpels (from £12.15 – link)

Of the two fragrances that I’ve selected as “great buys”, this is the one that would be better suited to an older gentleman.  It has a 70s vibe that might not appeal to the younger, Paco Rabanne 1 Million-wearing crowd.  It was revealed by VC&A a couple of years ago, that Pour Homme was one of Serge Gainsbourg’s favourite scents and if you know me, you won’t be surprised that this fact alone made me RUN for the nearest stockist.

Pour Homme opens with a vintage blast of green, a combination of aromatics that include basil, juniper, and bergamot.  It’s a pungent beginning, herbaceous and dated – though depending on your personal tastes, that last adjective is not meant as a criticism – merely a caution.

The heavyweight bottle hints at the darkness of the juice inside, I like to imagine the contents swirling around in there like some kind of twilight-zone vortex because I do believe that the dark arts were afoot during its creation.  I simply cannot envision how it is possible to blend so many different discernible notes without creating a complete hash of a fragrance.  From the freshness to the spiciness, the leather to the wood, the soapiness to the magnificent rose – it’s all in there, managed like a military operation.

Though I have mentioned the Serge Gainsbourg connection, I find it quite hard to associate the two personalities, myself.  Pour Homme is the epitome of a formal fragrance, it’s perfectly styled to sit beautifully against the backdrop of a dark suit, buttoned up to the hilt.  I can only amalgamate the personalities by unbuttoning that collar a few inches and adding 20 Gitanes into the mix.  Ahh yes, there you go.

As the fragrance dries down on my skin, the soft rose notes blossom into a bouquet against a somewhat-soapy backdrop… on my husband’s skin the rose whips against leather and patchouli, darkening the shadows further and stretching them into a bygone age.  The projection and longevity is equal to nothing else in his collection of fragrance, it can only be described in a cliche, as a powerhouse.  I can still smell this on my husband’s collar when doing the laundry, days later.

Talk about getting some serious bang for your buck.  Oui, Je T’aime.

van cleef pour homme 24 gold

The Son/Boyfriend Choice: 24 Gold Eau de Toilette (from £15.00 – link)

If you can get past having Twentieth Century Fox logos emblazoned across the outer packaging, you’d be extremely wise to give this one a chance.  24 Gold is indeed a spin-off fragrance, paying homage to TV’s Jack Bauer.  On paper… it’s about as gimmicky as they come, Mr L’s bottle even arrived with a 24-emblazoned ipod armband… presumably so he can listen to his favourite tunes while taking down the world’s baddest baddies.  Frankly, it should be shit.  But it isn’t, it’s about as far away from shit as you can get, it’s amazing.

24 Gold has an alltogether younger feel than Pour Homme, with gourmand chocolate box qualities and a boozy heart of amber.  From the off, it delivers up a beautiful and striking blend of powerful oud and vanilla – remaining forever sweet and better suited to the cooler weather.  It’s an atomic blast of a fragrance, lasting for hours and hours on both mine and Mr. L’s skin, projecting itself into a room long after we’ve left its walled confines.

24 Gold describes itself as a unisex fragrance, and I agree… it has some feminine qualities and a sweet oriental heaviness that would undoubtedly frighten off most Davidoff Cool Water-loving men, so do have a precursory sniff at some of the other scents in your intended target’s collection before jumping in with a blind buy.  Certainly, if most of his collection is light and airy… steer well clear, 24 Gold is decadent, rich, and very, very dense.

If you think you might have the green light on a bolder choice of fragrance, 24 Gold genuinely wouldn’t be wildly out of place in a designer’s private blends collection – exclusively available to only the world’s most revered department stores.  In conclusion, it belies its frankly ridiculous price tag.

Taken at face value, it would be easily forgivable to overlook this one in your local perfume store’s bargain bin.  But do so at your peril!

 

These two fragrances prove that it’s simply not necessary to drop £££ to find an incredible fragrance and although fragrance buying is a very personal experience, I believe you’ll be hard-pushed to find better quality for the money this Christmas.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here


11 Responses to “The real steal: Two fragrances that belie their price tags!”

  1. Jo Green says:

    I bought my husband the 24 Gold about a month ago after I read some reviews on Fragrantica. You’re right, it’s a quality scent for its price tag. I haven’t tried it on me, will have to give it a go :-)

  2. Powdered Almond says:

    Hmm… The husband just likes smelling washed, so the 24 one sounds a bit rich for him. But he really likes Jack Bauer. He already has the same ladder as JB (£60 from Maplin) so I guess he’d appreciate the matching perfume. And the price is right. Cheers Charlotte! Hope you and family are well x

  3. Jasmine says:

    Haven’t got a nose for perfumes so thank you for recommendations that aren’t the same staid stock of scents! They won’t break the bank so I am hugely glad. Where can I go to find these perfumes and have a quick sniff before buying? Hoping to use up Boots points x but not every place stocks them I guess. Possibly Health & beauty savers??

  4. Sarah says:

    Great post, my boyfriend is the only blank on my Christmas shopping list so 24 may be a good idea! I’ll have to get to Boots to try :) xx

    Viva Epernay | Benefit Advent Calendar Giveaway!

  5. Emily says:

    Thanks for this post it is really helpful!
    I was actually looking for some fragrances for my boyfriend
    For christmas so I will have to check 24 out! It sounds like it suits
    His kinda style! Thanks :)

  6. […] – The Real Steal! Recommending two budget fragrance buys that will knock his socks off this […]

  7. […] – The Real Steal! Recommending two budget fragrance buys that will knock his socks off this […]

  8. […] – The Real Steal! Recommending two budget fragrance buys that will knock his socks off this […]

  9. […] – The Real Steal! Recommending two budget fragrance buys that will knock his socks off this […]

  10. Kate Ryan says:

    I know my dad and brother love the show 24. Thanks so much. Great idea!!!

    Kate Ryan!!!

Leave a Reply

RANDOM

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows

I bought some Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows a couple of months ago and thought I’d share my thoughts on them… The packaging is …

Estee Lauder – Metamorphosis Palette

Metamorphosis… was the first big word I learnt to spell.  I think I was 8 or 9 and I delighted in telling anyone who couldn’t …

The Big Five Oh Oh!

Well, this here marks my 500th post… Thanks for sticking with me, I’m having a blast – you lot really are rather special… sorry, I …

Sample alert! Celebrate #thebeautyofnight with Estee Lauder!

Beauty is such a personal experience, it’s subjective… it’s intimate… but as a blogger, I know and appreciate the importance of sharing a connection with …

Pure - Bright Blue NOTD

I picked this up from the clearance shelves in Boots a couple of weeks ago for around £1.60.  Bright Blue is a super smarties shade, …

L'Occitane Limited Edition - Summer Secret

L’Occitane are releasing a new limited edition range for the Summer set to tantalise our senses. Verbena Summer Secret will launch this month with 4 …

Lipglossiping New Year Giveaway – Day 4

Day 4!  The party season may be over but quite frankly… who cares?!  Here’s a set of party essentials kindly donated by Girls With Attitude! …

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear about a new all-in-one face base, I get very hopeful at the thought of being able …

Mavala Black Velvet from the Mystic Collection

This is another from Mavala’s recently released Mystic Collection that I was sent last month. Mavala Black Velvet is a dark purple-black with a very …

Pink Week: Cherry ChapStick goes Pink!

What is it? A special edition PINK Cherry ChapStick offering SPF 15, providing protection from UV rays whilst helping raise money for charity. How much …

POPULAR

CLOSED: Competition Time: Givenchy Very Irresistible L'eau en Rose Perfume!

Want to really spoil Mum this Mother’s Day?  Or perhaps you just want to spoil yourself?  It’s ok… I won’t judge… there are plenty of …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning with a distinct “Hello Monday morning, I’ve been expecting you…” kinda feeling.  Maybe it’s …

Win a gorgeous "glow" trio with prizes from Urban Decay, New CID, & Arbonne!

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Admin

  • Ads